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Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip Racing - Q&A

Our race was very much like that today after the penalty, and we spent probably two-thirds of the races running in the teens to twenties, and we knew that looking at the speed that that was not representative.

But one of the most impressive things that has happened all this season, I think in our entire sport, may have gone a little bit unnoticed. Brian did not get a chance to come to Sonoma, did not practice. Did not get one lap in. Didn't get to qualify. Flew in, dropped into the seat Sunday morning at Sonoma, and at the end of the race, we're 110 laps and the person with the most fast laps of the day was Brian Vickers.

That just doesn't happen. That shows incredible talent, shows incredible confidence in yourself and the equipment, and the communication between these two that they could do that over the phone.

So we always have confidence when he gets in the car that we can run up front and that we can compete for the win, and it's because he's a talented race car driver. Our organization is ready to win consistently, and we have won two of the last four, and so I would say if we can keep that 50 percent streak going, we'll be all right (laughing).

Q:
You kind of touched on this, I'm sure at one point, being able to race again was a huge accomplishment in and of itself. Where does winning rank in that, because I'm sure at one point you were not even sure if you might race again, but where does this win rank?

Brian Vickers:
A good bit of both, just racing. I think you said it. Just to be back in a race car for me personally was a big goal and a big accomplishment and a big step. And it was because no one around me would let me give up on myself.

You know, I obviously didn't give up on myself, but when you have so much love and support around you, that makes all the difference in the world. So I've got to thank my family and friends for that through all that.

Obviously being able to win after all that is just almost unimaginable. It's so beyond what I was thinking about in that moment; just getting back into a race car was all I could think about.

But once I decided to get back in, my goal was to win a championship, and along the way hopefully win some races, and that still is my goal. I know it's a high goal, but that's why we're here. You know, I feel like for the first time in my career, and this has nothing to do with anybody else or anyone I've worked with or worked for; sometimes it's just about chemistry, and I feel like the partners and the owners and the management and the crew chief and everything I'm working with right now probably clicks as good as it ever has in my entire career.

Obviously I've grown a lot as a person through all the struggles and I've learned a lot. We all do as we grow older. We all mature. But the chemistry that I've had with Rodney for 20 years, and the chemistry that I have with everyone at MWR and Rod and Ty and Michael, the way they believe in me, sometimes more than I believe in myself, makes all the difference in the world.




Related Pictures

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Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, takes the chequered flag as he crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. With him are Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finished second, and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet SS who finished in third place. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, picks up the victory flag Sunday, May 3, 2015 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. Johnson finished second behind Earnhardt, Jr. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Sponge Bob Square Pants Ford, wreck during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
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Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Bit-O-Honey Ford, and Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, lead the field in a restart during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Earnhardt, Jr. is eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, qualifies for second position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Kahne is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate and Pole winner Jeff Gordon, driver of the #5 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, poses with Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz and the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Michael Waltrip, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 1, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Ortho Ford, climbs out of his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 1, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

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